A recent truck accident in Portland tied up traffic for hours on a local bridge. Fortunately, it occurred on a Monday in the early morning hours, at a time when there were few other drivers on the road. Police are blaming adverse weather conditions, which will continue to be a major concern in the coming months ahead. At this time of the year, it is important to be aware of the risks truck accidents pose and ways you can protect yourself and your passengers.
Weather Related Truck Accidents
Oregon Live reported that the Multnomah Sheriff’s Offices responded to a semi-truck accident on Monday, November 12, 2018, on the Troutdale Bridge at Sandy River. While the accident tied up morning rush hour traffic for hours afterward, the driver suffered only minor injuries and no other vehicles were involved. Police are blaming gusty winds for destabilizing the truck, causing it to run off the road before almost rolling over.
Wind is not the only hazard truck drivers face in the late fall and winter months. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), rain, sleet, snow, and ice are all common factors in both truck and motor vehicle accidents and are responsible for roughly 20 percent of all crashes that occur each year. Common impacts that occur as the result of adverse weather conditions include:
- Decreased visibility;
- Poor road traction;
- Greater likelihood of heavy traffic and road obstructions or closures;
- Greater wear and tear on trucks and other vehicles, resulting in mechanical failures.
Truck Accidents More Likely in Winter Months
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) statistics show that vehicle collisions are more likely to occur over the months of November and December than at any other time of the year. For trucks, winter weather means an increased likelihood for skidding and rollover accidents on curves or when making turns, along with decreased ability to stop in time to avoid colliding with other vehicles. For motorists, it is important to be aware of the potential obstacles truck drivers face and to take the necessary precautions;
- Avoid driving in truck ‘no zones’, which are blind spots on either side of the vehicle where motorists disappear from the truck driver’s view;
- Give plenty of warning when attempting to pass and allow adequate space between you and the truck driver;
- Avoid tailgating and following truck drivers too closely, which increases your likelihood of being impacted if a collision or rollover does occur;
- If you notice a truck driver tailgating you, switch lanes or pull off at the nearest exit.
Let Us Help You Today
While the massive size of most trucks serves to protect the driver, it is often other motorists who suffer the most severe injuries when these crashes occur. If you are injured in a truck accident, contact the Johnston Law Firm. Request a consultation with our Portland truck accident attorney to discuss how we can help you get the compensation you need to recover.